Hollyoaks plans family violence story for the Maaliks

Daniel Kilkelly
Photo credit: Lime Pictures

From Digital Spy

Hollyoaks will explore the issue of violence within the family in a gritty new storyline next year.

Teen character Imran Maalik will start abusing his mother Misbah both emotionally and physically, after years of feeling isolated by his loved ones.

As the youngest member of the Maalik family, Imran has often felt sidelined – partly because so much attention has been paid to his sister Yasmine and her heart condition.

Hollyoaks' new plot will be a long-running one for the show, exploring Misbah's struggle as she feels torn between protecting Imran and ensuring her own personal safety.

Photo credit: Lime Pictures

Misbah also needs to concentrate on maintaining her job at the local hospital and being a parent to her other children too.

Harvey Virdi, who plays Misbah, commented: "Violence against parents is a taboo subject. Mothers often blame themselves, suffer in silence and live in fear and shame.

"I am so proud to be part of this new storyline here at Hollyoaks, exploring Misbah's difficult relationship with her son and the impact the violence has on her and the rest of the Maalik family. Hopefully we can raise awareness and understanding around this difficult subject."

Hollyoaks has been working with Family Lives and local charity Sefton Women's and Children's Aid while devising the plot. The Muslim Council of Great Britain has also provided cultural advice on the story.

Photo credit: Lime Pictures

A spokesperson for Family Lives confirmed: "Family Lives are very pleased to be supporting Hollyoaks to raise awareness of this important issue. We frequently receive calls to our helpline from parents who are terrified of their child, often feeling ashamed and embarrassed and don't know what to do next.

"Raising awareness of the prevalence of child on parent violence is key to enabling more parents to speak out about it and find the support they need. No parent should suffer alone."

Neil Frackleton, Chief Executive of Sefton Women's and Children's Aid, added: "In today's society in the UK, popular and responsible television programmes such as Hollyoaks have a key role to play in addressing sensitive issues including domestic or family abuse.

"This valuable and valued awareness-raising enables people in our communities, affected by domestic or family abuse, to reach out for support and to realise they are not alone and can access help and support."

Hollyoaks airs weeknights at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4.

Readers affected by the issues raised in this story can contact Family Lives' free and confidential helpline on 0808 800 2222, or visit the organisation's website.

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